New analysis of June 6 primary: Republicans gained on Democrats

Aug. 2, 2012

By Katy Grimes

Democrats should be upset and Republicans smiling at the numbers from the June 5 primary, a new analysis shows. That’s contrary to the popular belief that Republicans are faltering in the Golden State.

Primary voters can usually be counted on as staunch partisan voters. However, the primary results in California showed that there were significant numbers of Democrats who not vote in the Democratic presidential primary.

President Barack Obama received more than 280,000 votes less than California’s U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein in her primary, and more than 340,000 fewer votes than the cumulative Democratic Assembly vote, indicating a real weakness for the upcoming November election. It appears that many Democrats are disenchanted with their president. He still should win the state, but not by the more than 3 million margin he did against Republican John McCain in 2008. That could spell trouble for Obama in other states.

Across the state of California, voters have already begun showing their anger at the Democratic-controlled Legislature by voting against Democratic incumbents, as well as voting against even former Democratic legislators attempting a comeback.

There are five Democratic Assembly members facing a same party runoff in November.

“Top Two” Primary

There also appears to be frustration among Democrats with the new “Top Two” primary voting system passed in 2010.

The June 2012 primary election was the first California election using the Top Two Candidate Open Primary system for statewide offices.

According to the League of Women Voters, the Top Two rules mean that:

* All candidates for a given state or congressional office will be listed on a single primary election ballot.

* Voters can vote for the candidate of their choice for these offices.

* The top two candidates, as determined by the voters, will advance to the General Election in November.

“Twenty California State Senate seats were up for election — half the total number of seats in the upper house of the Legislature,” the Independent Voter reported the day after the election.

The Public Policy Institute of California reported that more incumbents faced primary challenges from within their own party this year than they have on average in the last five election cycles.

The PPIC also found that there were majority-vote winners in 40 out of 80 Assembly primaries. In Senate races, 16 of 20 primaries ended with a majority-vote winner. And in U.S. House races, 35 of 53 candidates received more than half of the vote.

But after the primary, many in the state were incredulous that the majority vote winners would still face a challenger in November.


Proposition 29, the tobacco tax initiative, lost in a close race, 49.8 percent to 50.2 percent. Interestingly, the vote by county was nearly a predictable party-line vote. The heavily Democratic counties voted to pass Prop. 29 by heavy margins, while more the more Republican counties voted “no” on the tobacco tax.

Proposition 28 was another story altogether. The initiative was deceptively written and voters thought they were casting a protest vote against the Legislature and imposing stricter term limits.

Pension reform initiatives did very well in San Diego and San Jose, and easily won passage with large margins.

Angry voters

Five Democratic Assembly members fared poorly in June and will face a same-party runoffs in November:

* Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, received only 38 percent of the vote against largely unknown candidates.

* Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa, received only 31 percent of the vote and will be in a same-party runoff in November.

* Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, only 41 percent of the vote.

* Assemblyman Paul Fong, D-Mountain View, received only 53 percent of the vote against only one challenger who was a “No Party Preference” candidate.

* Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, D-Baldwin Park, lost with 43 percent of the vote to Republican challenger Joe Gardener, who received 45 percent of the vote. The NPP candidate received 11 percent of the vote in this race.

* Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, D-Torrance, was in a near tied race with two other Democrats and one Republican challenger. Butler received only 25.8 percent of the vote. In the November runoff, she will face Richard Bloom, who got 25.6 percent. But close behind was Tori Osborn with 24.3 percent. Republican challenger Bradly Torgan received 24.4 percent.

* Assemblywoman Norma Torres, D-Pomona, received only 41 percent of the vote in a race with two Democratic and one Republican challenger. Republican Kenny Coble received 37.5 percent of the vote.

Assembly Democrats running for state Senate did not fare well

* In Senate District 5, Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, D-Fresno, received only 41 percent of the vote, while two Republican challengers combined received 59 percent. Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, R-Stockton, received 35.8 percent of the vote.

* Senate District 39: Assemblyman Marty Block, D-San Diego, received only 46.3 percent, while Republican challenger George Plescia received 43.7 percent of the vote. A Democratic challenger received 10 percent.

* In Congressional District 2, Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, received only 37.5 percent of the vote.

* Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, running for Congressional District 26, received only 27 percent of the vote against Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, who received 44.1 percent.

Former Democratic legislators did not do well

* Former Assemblyman Richard Alacaron was trounced in Assembly District 39. Alacaron received only 26.9 percent of the vote, while a Democratic challenger, CSU Professor Raul Bocanegra, also Alacaron’s former aide, received 36.2 percent of the vote. The LA Weekly called the results “humiliating.”

* Former Assemblyman Joe Baca received only 42.3 percent of the vote and will be facing a Top Two runoff in november.

* Former Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez lost to newcomer Ian Claderon, also a Democrat and a member of the political Calderon family, 27.7 percent to 28.5 percent.

* Former Assemblyman Tom Calderon placed third in a race with six candidates.

* Sen. Fran Pavely, D-Agoura Hilla lost to unknown Republican Todd Zink, 48.9 percent to 51.1 percent.

* Former Assemblyman Steve Clute came in third in a three-candidate race.

* Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego, came in third behind Democrat Scott Peters, losing by only 719 votes, and Republican Brian Bilbray, who garnered 41 percent of the vote.

Projected turnout for November

Of the 17 million registered voters who turned out for the primary, 7.4 million were Democrats, 5.1 million were Republicans, and approximately 4.5 million were Independents, Green Party, Libertarian, or “other.” So Democrats held an edge there.

However, Republicans, although lower in numbers, were more likely to turn out to vote. Turnout by party was: Democrats 23 percent, Republicans 30 percent, Independents 26 percent.

The projected turnout for November looks very strong for both Republicans and Democrats, but favors Republicans. Republican registrations are up significantly in the state, as are Independents; 500,000 more Independents, Decline-to-State and Third Party people voted than in the June 2008 state primary. The turnout is expected to increase significantly in the November general election.

Angry voters will make a difference in California. We all can expect to see a great deal of change in the Legislature next year, and new legislators will be facing a state on the brink of disaster.

 (Voter results and information is available from the California Secretary of State’s Statement of Vote for the June 2012 primary.)

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  1. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 2 August, 2012, 10:20

    Good luck repub’s!


    A Billionaire, a pensioner and a union rep go into a room to eat a pizza cut into 12 slices. The Billionaire of course takes 11 slices, then tells the pensioner, “hey, you better grab that last piece, it looks like the union guy is trying to steal it!

    LOL Oh my !

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 2 August, 2012, 10:46

    Teddy…..of the 11 slices five slices go to unmerciful slave trader globalists….the crumbles left on the pizza wax paper go to unseen exploited laborers!

    Reply this comment
  3. RT
    RT 2 August, 2012, 11:00

    The GOP in California is a mess and it has gotten in their current mess the old-fashioned way, they earned it. Where is the GOP on issues? Who is the face of the GOP?
    The problem is that the GOP establishment that runs California’s GOP has no idea how to deal with the current political climate in California. They do not know how to compete against the takers and their allies. They continue to moan a little from time to time on a given issue, but do little else other than fold up like a cheap lawn chair. The GOP in California need a new framework that takes a very public stand on taxes and social programs.
    The good news for the GOP in California is that as things gets worse budget wise (and they will) they may become more popular. However, if they do not get their act together and become a force, the GOP will become much like the Green or Liberation Party, that gets the support of a few loyalists but has no ability to effect change.

    Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 2 August, 2012, 11:05

    When you have an avoid vs advoid conflict almost all people make no choice.

    Ah shucks! Stay with what we got.

    Reply this comment
  5. Martha Montelongo
    Martha Montelongo 2 August, 2012, 11:26

    This class warfare baiting to defend the greed and arrogance of our public employee unions is absurd, and ignores the fact that the billionaires don’t provide the bulk of jobs, and when our State Govt becomes the biggest either employer in terms of new jobs, and also supports CA as the welfare daddy to a full third of the nation’s welfare recipients, your arrogance is absurd and the voters are on to you.

    Unemployment is among the highest in the nation, new jobs in the private sector among the lowest, and the welfare recipients just keep coming. Sure, the welfare supported will buy your spin blaming the billionaires, but hopefully they’ll be too busy watching Dancing with the Stars to vote.

    The real middle class, the enterprising people who own their small businesses, and hire people, who start businesses and want to hire but can’t afford it because of the web of regulations, fees and layers of bureaucracy are focused.

    Reply this comment
  6. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 2 August, 2012, 11:49

    Five government pensioners and five taxpayers split up a pizza that’s cut into 10 pieces. The government pensioners say, “You taxpayers can have five, but we’re going to take seven because the CalPERS investment portfolio always grows by 7.5 percent a year on average.”

    — John Seiler

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 2 August, 2012, 15:39

    Not bad math for CSU graduates!

    Reply this comment
  8. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 2 August, 2012, 18:36

    [email protected] Johns joke 😉

    Reply this comment
  9. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 2 August, 2012, 18:37

    But if the CalTURDS investment portfolio always grows by 7.5 percent a year on average wouldn’t we have a negative pizza based on current 1% returns 🙂

    Reply this comment
  10. Donkey
    Donkey 2 August, 2012, 19:07

    A RAGWUS feeder attends a city council meeting. The meeting is about the city having to close the parks, not being able to pave the steets, and voting on the 15% increase for the cops and FF’s pay, pensions, and benefits. The council members ignore the parks and streets and give the RAGWUS feeders their 15%. On the way out the door the RAGWUS feeders can be heard saying, “They are lucky I got my increase or I was going to sue!” The non-aligned taxpayers decided to move to another state. 😉

    Reply this comment
  11. Hondo
    Hondo 2 August, 2012, 19:08

    Once again. The failure of Kalifornia (and Illinois) may win the presidency for milktoast Romney. There is no reason Kali shouldn’t have an unemployment rate of below 7% now. The state has simply been run into the ground by the Dems. If the unemployment rate nation wide was near 7% Obama would win easily. But Kalifornia, with its huge economy in shambles, is dragging down the rest of the country. The rest of the country is recovering nicely. Heck, Nebraska and North Dakota are booming.
    Yes, the Dems will still do well in Kali, tho the Repubs might get a couple seats. But what does it matter if they blow it for our Kenyan president. When Kali goes belly up in a couple years and goes hat in hand to Milktoast and the bronze Bohnner, don’t expect squat.

    Reply this comment
  12. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 2 August, 2012, 20:23

    7.75 % pizza growth for 20 years kids—— that’s alot of pizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzza!

    (true though U Haul about the 1% -ers though! )

    Reply this comment
  13. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 2 August, 2012, 22:30

    1%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%, now that’s a pizza.

    Reply this comment
  14. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 2 August, 2012, 23:05

    I’ve got the perfect solution for the Demogoguecrats this November. We already know that they will vote for dead people (remember Jenny Oropeza?). All the Dems have to do is raid the local morgue for their candidates and run a campaign based on the movie “A Weekend With Bernie”. Interestingly, the brain power of a dead politician is approximately the same as a Democrat voter. On the other hand, a Democrat stiff is still more entertaining and articulate than a live Republican politician 🙂

    Reply this comment
  15. Bob
    Bob 2 August, 2012, 23:51

    Well, Brownie is going cup in hand to all the special interests and even his fellow DemoCriminal politicians for more money for his tax increase ballot measure. And old Molly Mongrel just kicked in another $5 million into her tax increase measure.

    How much are they going to have to out spend the opposition to have a chance?

    I doubt Mongrel’s has any chance no matter how much money she spends but the voters still could be stupid enough to pass the Brown one.

    Reply this comment
  16. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 3 August, 2012, 08:42

    LOL the poodle is a 1%-er– I knew it!

    Reply this comment
  17. Mike Slushi
    Mike Slushi 3 August, 2012, 14:50

    RT is correct when he stated, “The GOP in California need a new framework that takes a very public stand on taxes and social programs.” The GOP has no spine. They fear losing public support if they take a tough stand. I guess that they have not got the memo that do not have public support now. Taking a stand will get more people on thier side. The fact is the GOP has nothing to lose by taking a very public stand on taxes and social programs and far much more they could gain.
    RT is aslo correct when he asks,”Where is the GOP on issues? “.
    The GOP needs to take a stand.

    Reply this comment
  18. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 3 August, 2012, 17:34

    CalTURDS is the NEW 1% er Teddy. How is your cancer?

    Reply this comment
  19. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 3 August, 2012, 17:35

    I doubt Mongrel’s has any chance no matter how much money she spends but the voters still could be stupid enough to pass the Brown one.

    Bob, Clowns tax hike was DOA BEFORE the Bullet Stain fiasco, it is not going ot be clobbered. Trust me on this one.

    Reply this comment
  20. The Rt Rev Ted Steele
    The Rt Rev Ted Steele 4 August, 2012, 14:32

    Poodle— the cancer is good so far— 3 years— clean…..

    But of course that is sort of like the guy who jumps off the 100 story building. As he’s falling past, at the 50th floor a guy opens up a window and shouts out, “how’s it going”?…..the falling man says…”well….so far…so good.”

    The only new 1% is the same as the old 1% little fella. They are the “job creators” ™ .

    They need to step it up— although—28 straight months of private sector job growth isn’t zero. Or, 800k loss of jobs per month like under the last republican regime.


    poor poodle

    Reply this comment

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